First human case of West Nile virus reported, virus found in Rowland Heights

A San Gabriel Valley person is the first human case of West Nile virus in Los Angeles County in 2012, the county Department of Public Health said Wednesday.

The individual, a middle-aged adult, was hospitalized earlier this month for a short time and has other chronic health conditions not related to West Nile virus, the department said in a news release. The person has been released from the hospital and is expected to recover.

The department would not say where the person lived or whether the patient was a man or a woman.

West Nile virus infects people via the bites of infected mosquitoes. Mosquitoes get the virus from infected wild birds.

“While most people bitten by a mosquito are not exposed to West Nile virus, some individuals may become infected with this disease and may experience symptoms that can last for months, or even years, such as fatigue, malaise and depression,” Dr. Jonathan E. Fielding, director of public health and health officer for L.A. County, said in a statement.

Earlier in July, West Nile virus was discovered in mosquitoes collected in a trap in Rowland Heights, officials said.

Truc Dever, a spokeswoman for the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District, said the virus was detected in a sample of 42 mosquitoes collected June 21.

This is the first time the virus has been detected in Rowland Heights this year.

“We’re anticipating a heavy season,” Dever said, based on an “exponential increase up north.”

Read more in MOSQUITO.

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